EVERYTHING being equal, First Lady Esther Lungu should have confined herself to State House playing the role of chief hostess of Plot One.
Mrs Lungu could have chosen an exquisite life of attending official ceremonies and functions of State House or indeed being with the Head of State at the recent Southern African Development Community summit in Gaborone, Botswana last week.
Instead she chose to be with the underprivileged in Western Province even when her husband was being hosted by the ruling Patriotic Front at the ‘Meet The President’ dinner in Lusaka last Wednesday.
Such is the passion the First Lady has demonstrated in trying to uplift the lives of the underprivileged in society.
Despite Mr Lungu being relatively new in office, the First Lady has started conducting on the spot checks on the challenges being faced by the under privileged and women clubs across the country.
Her trip to the Western Province, one of the least developed regions in the country, is the fourth after Luapula, Northern and Eastern provinces.
She toured Luapula in February barely a month in State House and later visited the Northern and Eastern provinces.
Her position as First Lady is a highly visible position in Zambia and it is, therefore, very important considering that she is closer to the President, she ought to go to the countryside to meet with the people and commune with them.
Then she will report back to the President for remedial action.
As the First Lady of Zambia, she represents the President on all her errands.
Considering Zambia’s size, it may not be easy for the Head of State to be everywhere, hence the need to be represented by other people.
The First Lady is, therefore, taking the country’s presidency to the grassroots as she interacts with various women.
By doing so, she abandons the comfort of State House to take interest in the welfare of women in rural areas.
What is cardinal also about the First Lady’s trips is that she is not only empowering women in rural areas but also enlightening them about cervical cancer, child marriage and defilement.
Mrs Lungu’s move to empower women in the rural areas is evidently being appreciated.
We urge minister’s spouses, among others, to continue supporting the First Lady in helping resolve some of the social challenges the country is facing.
Other women in privileged positions should also lend a helping hand in making the less-privileged members of society feel loved and cared for.
The women’s clubs that are getting the First Lady’s support should ensure that they use the resources prudently to ensure that they eventually become self-sustaining rather than being perpetually in need of donor support.
Some of the challenges that should be overcome include gender-based violence, defilements and streetism.
It is unacceptable to have so many children roaming the streets, especially in Lusaka, the bastion of Government.
The task of working hard to ensure that women are empowered so that they can alleviate poverty at household level, should not be left to the First Lady alone.